A new experimental drug may provide the first effective treatment for the common cold
15 May, 2018, 13:52
A cure for the common cold could be nearer after British scientists successfully tested a drug molecule capable of killing multiple strains of the disease.
The treatment blocks a key protein in the body's cells that cold viruses normally hijack to self-replicate and spread. The results of initial tests are published today in the journal Nature Chemistry. Even if we grow immune, viruses evolve fast and the get resistant to drugs. Most current treatments do no more than alleviate symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat and fever. The virus takes over NMT and constructs a protein shell (capsid) to protect the virus genome. The researchers believe that it could work against other related viruses, including those responsible for polio and foot-and-mouth disease. They says if we start targeting the causative organisms which is the virus and they come in hundreds of versions, then it will be more hectic.
"The way the drug works means that we would need to be sure it was being used against the cold virus, and not similar conditions with different causes, to minimize the chance of toxic side effects", he says.
"While this study was conducted entirely in vitro, i.e using cells to model rhinovirus infection in the laboratory, it shows great promise in terms of eventually developing a drug treatment to combat the effects of this virus in patients".
The research team included the labs of Professor Roberto Solari and Professor Seb Johnston at Imperial's National Heart & Lung Institute, Dr Aurelie Mousnier from Imperial and Queen's University Belfast, structural biologists at the University of York, and colleagues at the Pirbright Institute.
Previous attempts to create drugs that target human cells rather than the virus have proven to be failures, while also showing themselves to be toxic.
Producing a traditional vaccine for the common cold has proved to be a futile exercise but researchers at Imperial College may have discovered a novel new way to target the common cold and prevent its ability to replicate. Finding two specific compounds, the team produced a novel molecule called IMP-1088, which specifically inhibits NMT. Ed Tate, of Imperial College London in the United Kingdom.
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